There are a lot of natural and man-made disasters that can affect you and your loved ones. While it is impossible to predict when they will occur, you can avoid serious injuries and prevent loss of life through proper emergency planning. In order for you to come up with an effective emergency plan, you should identify the hazards in your home and immediate area. The overall goal of emergency planning is to minimize hazards. Moreover, it is important that you adapt recommendations that best suits your circumstances.
How can you reduce dangers or hazards in your home?
First of all, you need to perform a complete home hazard assessment. Hazard mitigation and is critical for reducing injuries due to accidents. Identify obvious hazards such as inclined walls, landslide prone areas, tree branches near electric lines or faulty electrical lines. Inclined walls can fall in case of strong winds or wind-storm while anything that has to do with electricity increases the risk of having a fire.
Be aware of potential hazards in your immediate surrounding or neighbourhood such as a rail line for transporting chemicals or petroleum, chemical plants, dams and electrical outlets. Rivers and lakes may also pose the risk of flooding during extreme weather conditions. Ask your local authorities about the dangers or risks in your place.
How do I develop home emergency plan?
Identifying home hazards can help you develop a response plan as well as an escape and evacuation plan in case it becomes necessary.
After you have completed a hazard assessment, you should address all hazards that are within your control. Preventing dangers should be your top priority. Familiarize yourself with the floor area of your residence. Create an escape plan and inform all household members about it.
Fire is one of the most common household emergencies. If your residence is on fire, make sure to get everyone out. Every room in the house should have at least two fire exits. Household members must have a designated place away from the house where they shall meet in case of fire. This makes it easier for you to account everyone, eliminate the need to get back inside the burning house to rescue someone.
Take note, however, that not all emergencies require that you go out of the house. In some emergencies, it may be best to stay put and shelter in place until safety is guaranteed. It is recommended in case of thunderstorm, flooding, nuclear accident or hazardous chemical spill. In these situations, it is important that you stay tuned with your local officials for necessary instructions. Make sure you follow their instructions. Do not go out unless there is instruction to do so.
Keep your first aid kit fully stocked and store in accessible part of the house. As much as possible, at least one member of the household should know basic first aid.